Station Name: NEWPORT PAGNELL

[Source: Nick Catford]
Date opened: 2.9.1867
Location: On the north side of Broad Street
Company on opening: Newport Pagnell Railway
Date closed to passengers: 7.9.1964
Date closed completely: 22.5.1967
Company on closing: British Railways (London Midland Region)
Present state: The site is lost under Shepherds Close, a new housing development
County: Buckinghamshire
OS Grid Ref: SP871435
Date of visit: January 1868 & May 1980
Notes: Newport Pagnell station had a single curving platform on the up side of the line. The main station building was of brick construction with a hipped roof incorporating a booking office, general waiting room, ladies room, gents' toilet and station office. There was a canopy over the platform and over the other side of the building which opened onto the station forecourt. The
north-east end of the was raised to form a cattle dock with pens to the rear.

A ground frame on a raised plinth at the south end of the platform controlled access to the goods yard which comprised four curving sidings fanning out to the north of the station. There was a 5-ton yard crane. At Newport Pagnell, the railway re-used several of the warehouses and most of Shipley Wharf. There was also a private siding (Price's) behind the platform. A 1-road wooden engine shed was opened by the LNWR on the up side south-west of the station on 2 September 1867. In BR days is was a sub-shed of 1E Bletchley and closed on 15 June 1955 and demolished two years later.

A section of the Newport Pagnell canal basin wall was discovered during the redevelopment of the railway station site.

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE NEPORT PAGNELL BRANCH
In 1817 a branch of the Grand Junction Canal was cut from the main line at Great Linford to Newport Pagnell. The total length was one and a quarter miles rising through seven locks.

The first proposals for the building of a railway line from Bletchley to Newport Pagnell, Olney and Wellingborough came in 1845 but the venture failed to attract sufficient capital. The following year there was a proposal to build a line from Wolverton to Newport Pagnell, thence south to join the Bletchley to Bedford line at Ridgmont. This was not supported by the local
landowner the Duke of Bedford who described it as "that useless railway." Not surprisingly, this also failed to attract investors.

In 1845 an approach was made to buy the canal by the London and North Western Railway. The offer was turned down but in 1862 the canal was sold to the Newport Pagnell Railway for £9,000, despite opposition from the Grand Junction, the Oxford Canal, and the collieries at Moira and Shipley.

The Newport Pagnell Railway Act was passed in 1863 and the following year the Newport Railway Company bought the short branch canal with the intention of using the route for their new railway line into Newport Pagnell. The line didn't exactly follow the canal route which hugged the contours of the surrounding land. The intention was to continue the line on to the Market
town of Olney and powers were granted for this extension in 1865 with a further extension to join the Northampton-Peterborough line at Wellingborough. The extensions beyond Newport Pagnell were never built with powers lapsing in 1871 although some work had been undertaken.

The line was complete by 30th September 1865 when the first locomotive traversed the line. The next year the railway opened for goods, cattle and parcel traffic and on 2nd September 1867, there was the ceremonial opening of the line for passengers.

There were two intermediate stations at Bradwell and Great Linford. The lines main regular passengers were employees of the Railway Works at Wolverton.

In 1875 the line was taken over by the London & North Western Railway who had provided the service from the opening.


As with many rural lines the development of road transport gradually began to erode passenger numbers. The first motor bus service was in the country was introduced between Newport Pagnell and Olney in 1898 and the popularity of the motor car through the 20th century eventually spelled the end for the line. The last passenger train ran on 7th September 1964.

Goods traffic continued for three years until final closure on 22nd May 1967. The track was lifted later the same year.

The route is now part of the Milton Keynes 'Redway' cycle way network. The platforms at Great Linford and Bradwell survive but the only evidence in Newport Pagnell is the post of the starting signal, now at the beginning of the Redway between allotments.

With the expansion of Milton Keynes changing what was a rural area into well populated sprawl there have been suggestions in recent years that the line should be reinstated.

Tickets from Michael Stewart. Bradshaw from Nick Catford

See also The Branch Line - Nobby Newport web site

To see the other stations on the Newport Pagnell branch line click on the station name: Bradwell & Great Linford


A train for Wolverton wait to depart from Newport Pagnell station c. 1930.
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection



1862 map showing Shipley Wharf, the terminus of the Newport Pagnell Canal and the proposed railway. Compare with the maps below, it is clear that some of the wharf buildings were retained for railway use in the goods yard.

1881 1:2,500 OS map. The goods yard is built on the site of Shipley Wharf which was the terminus of the Newport Pagnell branch of the Grand Junction canal.

1900 1:2,500 OS Map. Little changed since the 1881 map above. Note the two turntables for movement of wagons in the goods yard. The engine shed is seen bottom left.

A train from Wolverton has just arrived at Newport Pagnell station in 1959.
Copyright photo from Tony Harden collection


Newport Pagnell station looking north-west c. 1960s. The raised cattle dock and pens can be seen at the end of the platform. There was no signal box at Newport Pagnell. The sidings were controlled by a ground frame mounted on a brick plinth seen on the far right.
Copyright photo from Tony Harden collection

Newport Pagnell station looking south-east c. 1960s.
Copyright photo from John Harden collection

Newport Pagnell station on 5 September 1964, the last day of public service. Although the official closure date as 7 September, as there was no Sunday service the last train
ran on Saturday 5 September.


Newport Pagnell goods yard c. 1967. The two warehouse pre-date the railway and were part of Shipley Wharf, the terminal basin of the Newport Pagnell branch canal. They survived into the 1970s.
Photo by from John Mann collection


Newport Pagnell station forecourt c.1967.
Photo from John Mann collection


Newport Pagnell Station in January 1968
Photo by Nick Catford
Newport Pagnell Station in May 1980
Photo by Nick Catford


The site of Newport Pagnell Station in September 2003
Photo by Tim Grose

Click here for more pictures of Newport Pagnell station

 

 

 

[Source: Nick Catford]


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